Matthew 24 Star Chart: Clockwise from when "he (Auriga-our Lord) sat upon the (Milky Way) MOUNT of Olives" and "the (Gemini and Orion) disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the (Zodiac) sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" (24:3) in 30 A.D. till "then shall appear the (Zodiac) sign of (Sagittarius) the Son of MAN in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn (Day of Atonement), and they shall (lunar eyeball) SEE the Son of MAN (Sagittarius) coming in the (Milky Way) CLOUDS of heaven with power and great (solar) GLORY" (24:30) in 2026 A.D. which is 1996° years or five complete laps plus 196° years more in Orion-Auriga. "For wheresoever the (Auriga) carcase is, there will the EAGLES (Lyra, Aquila) be gathered together" (24:28). Our Lord also refers to himself as "the THIEF" (24:43) and thieves carry (two-edged) (crescent) swords just as Sagittarius does. Our Lord (Orion) will return and deal with any wicked servant and "shall (lunar crescent) cut him (Auriga) asunder" (24:51). If a "GENERATION" (24:34) is "three score and ten" (Ps. 90:10) (70 years), and a "FIG TREE" (24:32) is Israel (Hos. 9:10; Jer. 24:3-10; 29:16-17; Luke 13:1-9), and a (red radius) "BRANCH" putting forth (green Milky Way) "LEAVES" (24:32) is May 14th 1948 when Israel became a nation once more with a homeland -- the fig tree blossomed -- then 1948 + 70 = 2018 when "all these things" are "fulfilled" (Matt. 24:34).
What Shall Be the (Zodiac) Sign of Thy Coming?
24:1 And Jesus (Sagittarius) went out, and departed from the (Zodiac) temple: and his (Gemini) disciples came to him for to shew him the (red radius line) buildings of the temple.
2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? (lunar eye ball) verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one (lunar) stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
After the city was taken, Josephus says that Titus "gave orders that they should now "demolish the whole city and temple," except three towers, which he reserved standing. But for the rest of the wall, it was laid so completely even with the ground by those who "dug it up from the foundation," that there was nothing left to make those believe who came hither that it had ever been inhabited." Maimonides, a Jewish writer, has also recorded that "Terentius Rufus, an officer in the army of Titus, with a plowshare tore up the foundations of the temple, that the prophecy might be fulfilled, 'Zion shall be plowed as a field,'" Micah 3:12. This was all done by the direction of divine Providence. Titus was desirous of preserving the temple, and frequently sent Josephus to the Jews to induce them to surrender and save the temple and city. But the prediction of the Saviour had gone forth, and, notwithstanding the wish of the Roman general, the temple was to be destroyed. The Jews themselves first set fire to the porticoes of the temple. One of the Roman soldiers, without any command, threw a burning firebrand into the golden window, and soon the temple was in flames. Titus gave orders to extinguish the fire; but, amid the tumult, none of the orders were obeyed. The soldiers pressed to the temple, and neither fear nor entreaties, nor stripes could restrain them. Their hatred of the Jews urged them on to the work of destruction, and thus, says Josephus, the temple was burned against the will of Caesar. - Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 4, section 5-7.
There shall not be left here one stone - These seem to have been the last words he spoke as he left the temple, into which he never afterwards entered; and, when he got to the mount of Olives, he renewed the discourse. From this mount, on which our Lord and his disciples now sat, the whole of the city, and particularly the temple, were clearly seen. This part of our Lord's prediction was fulfilled in the most literal manner. Josephus says, War, book vii. c. 1: "Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the whole city and temple, τε πολιν απασαν και τον νεων κατασκεπτειν, except the three towers, Phaselus, Hippicus, and Mariamne, and a part of the western wall, and these were spared; but, for all the rest of the wall, it was laid so completely even with the ground, by those who dug it up to the foundation, that there was left nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been inhabited." Maimonides, a Jewish rabbin, in Tract. Taanith, c. 4, says, "That the very foundations of the temple were digged up, according to the Roman custom." His words are these: "On that ninth day of the month Ab, fatal for vengeance, the wicked Turnus Rufus, of the children of Edom, ploughed up the temple, and the places round about it, that the saying might be fulfilled, Zion shall be ploughed as a field." This Turnus, or rather Terentius Rufus, was left general of the army by Titus, with commission, as the Jews suppose, to destroy the city and the temple, as Josephus observes.
3 And as he (Auriga) sat upon the mount of Olives, the (Gemini) disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the (Zodiac) sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?
Not all of them, but Peter, James, John, and Andrew, Mark 13:3.
4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.
I am Christ - I am the Messiah. See the notes at Matthew 1:1. The Messiah was expected at that time, Matthew 2:1-2. Many would lay, claims to being the Messiah, and, as He was universally expected, multitudes would easily be led to believe in them. There is abundant evidence that this was fully accomplished. Josephus informs us that there were many who pretended to divine inspiration; who deceived the people, leading out numbers of them into the desert. "The land," says He "was overrun with magicians, seducers, and impostors, who drew the people after them in multitudes into solitudes and deserts, to see I the signs and miracles which they promised to show by the power of God." Among these are mentioned particularly Dositheus, the Samaritan, who affirmed that He was Christ; Simon Magus, who said He appeared among the Jews as the Son of God; and Theudas, who persuaded many to go with him to the river Jordan, to see the waters divided. The names of 24 false Messiahs are recorded as having appeared between the time of the Emperor Adrian and the year 1682.
5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.
For many shall come in my name -
1. Josephus says, (War, b. ii. c. 13), that there were many who, pretending to Divine inspiration, deceived the people, leading out numbers of them to the desert, pretending that God would there show them the signs of liberty, meaning redemption from the Roman power: and that an Egyptian false prophet led 30,000 men into the desert, who were almost all cut off by Felix. See Acts 21:38. It was a just judgment for God to deliver up that people into the hands of false Christs who had rejected the true one. Soon after our Lord's crucifixion, Simon Magus appeared, and persuaded the people of Samaria that he was the great power of God, Acts 8:9, Acts 8:10; and boasted among the Jews that he was the son of God.
2. Of the same stamp and character was also Dositheus, the Samaritan, who pretended that he was the Christ foretold by Moses.
3. About twelve years after the death of our Lord, when Cuspius Fadus was procurator of Judea, arose an impostor of the name of Theudas, who said he was a prophet, and persuaded a great multitude to follow him with their best effects to the river Jordan, which he promised to divide for their passage; and saying these things, says Josephus, he deceived many: almost the very words of our Lord.
4. A few years afterwards, under the reign of Nero, while Felix was procurator of Judea, impostors of this stamp were so frequent that some were taken and killed almost every day. Josephus. Ant. b. xx. c. 4. and 7.
6 And ye shall (lunar ear) hear of (Sagittarius) wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
And ye shall hear of wars ... - It is recorded in the history of Rome that violent agitations prevailed in the Roman empire previous to the destruction of Jerusalem. Four emperors, Nero, Galba, Otho, and Vitellius, suffered violent deaths in the short space of eighteen months. In consequence of these changes in the government, there were commotions throughout the empire. Parties were formed, and bloody and violent wars were the consequence of attachment to particular emperors. This is the more remarkable, as at the time that the prophecy was made, the empire was in a state of peace.
Rumours of wars - Wars declared or threatened, but not carried into execution. Josephus says that Bardanes, and after him Vologeses, declared war against the Jews, but it was not carried into execution, Antig. xx. 34. He also says that Vitellius, governor of Syria, declared war against Aretas, king of Arabia, and wished to lead his army through Palestine, but the death of Tiberius prevented the war, Antiq. xviii. 5. 3.
Massacres of the Jews were perpetrated at Cæsarea, at Alexandria, in Babylonia and in Syria.—See Milman’s History of the Jews, Bks. xii.–xv. Tacitus, characterising the same period, says “opus adgredior opimum casibus, atrox præliis, discors seditionibus, ipsa etiam pace sævum.” Hist. i. 2.
The next signs given by our Lord are wars and rumors of wars, etc. - These may be seen in Josephus, Ant. b. xviii. c. 9; War, b. ii. c. 10; especially as to the rumors of wars, when Caligula ordered his statue to be set up in the temple of God, which the Jews having refused, had every reason to expect a war with the Romans, and were in such consternation on the occasion that they even neglected to till their land.
7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.
Nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom - At Caesarea the Jews and Syrians contended about the right to the city, and twenty thousand of the Jews were slain. At this blow the whole nation of the Jews was exasperated, and carried war and desolation through the Syrian cities and villages. Sedition and civil war spread throughout Judea; Italy was also thrown into civil war by the contests between Otho and Vitellius for the crown.
And there shall be famines - There was a famine foretold by Agabus Acts 11:28, which is mentioned by Tacitus, Suetonius, and Eusebius, and which was so severe in Jerusalem, Josephus says, that many people perished for want of food, Antiq. xx. 2. Four times in the reign of Claudius (41-54 a.d.) famine prevailed in Rome, Palestine, and Greece.
Pestilences - Raging epidemic diseases; the plague, sweeping off multitudes of people at once. It is commonly the attendant of famine, and often produced by it. A pestilence is recorded as raging in Babylonia, 40 a.d. (Josephus, Antiq. xviii. 9. 8); in Italy, 66 a.d. (Tacitus 16. 13). Both of these took place before the destruction of Jerusalem.
Earthquakes - In prophetic language, earthquakes sometimes mean political commotions. Literally, they are tremors or shakings of the earth, often shaking cities and towns to ruin. The earth opens, and houses and people sink indiscriminately to destruction. Many of these are mentioned as preceding the destruction of Jerusalem. Tacitus mentions one in the reign of Claudius, at Rome, and says that in the reign of Nero the cities of Laodicea, Hierapolis, and Colosse were overthrown, and the celebrated Pompeii was overwhelmed and almost destroyed by an earthquake, Annales, 15. 22. Others are mentioned as occurring at Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, and Samos. Luke adds, "And fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven," Luke 21:11. Josephus, who had probably never heard of this prophecy, and who certainly would have done nothing designedly to show its fulfillment, records the prodigies and signs which He says preceded the destruction of the city.
A star, says he, resembling a sword, stood over the city, and a comet that continued a whole year. At the feast of unleavened bread, during the night, a bright light shone round the altar and the temple, so that it seemed to be bright day, for half an hour. The eastern gate of the temple, of solid brass, fastened with strong bolts and bars, and which had been shut with difficulty by twenty men, opened in the night of its own accord. A few days after that feast, He says, "Before sunsetting, chariots and troops of soldiers in their armor were seen running about among the clouds, and surrounding of cities." A great noise, as of the sound of a multitude, was heard in the temple, saying, "Let us remove hence." Four years before the war began, Jesus, the son of Ananus, a plebeian and a husbandman, came to the feast of the tabernacles when the city was in peace and prosperity, and began to cry aloud, "A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the holy house, a voice against the bridegroom and the brides, and a voice against this whole people!" He was scourged, and at every stroke of the whip He cried, "Woe, woe to Jerusalem!" This cry, Josephus says, was continued every day for more than seven years, until He was killed in the siege of the city, exclaiming, "Woe, woe to myself also!" - Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 9, section 3.
The Fifth sign, fearful portents.
To these St. Luke adds that there shall be fearful sights and great signs from heaven (Luke 21:11). Josephus, in his preface to the Jewish war, enumerates these.
1st. A star hung over the city like a sword; and a comet continued a whole year.
2d. The people being assembled at the feast of unleavened bread, at the ninth hour of the night, a great light shone about the altar and the temple, and this continued for half an hour.
3d. At the same feast, a cow led to sacrifice brought forth a lamb in the midst of the temple!
4th. The eastern gate of the temple, which was of solid brass, and very heavy, and could hardly be shut by twenty men, and was fastened by strong bars and bolts, was seen at the sixth hour of the night to open of its own accord!
5th. Before sun-setting there were seen, over all the country, chariots and armies fighting in the clouds, and besieging cities.
6th. At the feast of pentecost, when the priests were going into the inner temple by night, to attend their service, they heard first a motion and noise, and then a voice, as of a multitude, saying, Let Us Depart Hence!
7th. What Josephus reckons one of the most terrible signs of all was, that one Jesus, a country fellow, four years before the war began, and when the city was in peace and plenty, came to the feast of tabernacles, and ran crying up and down the streets, day and night: "A voice from the east! a voice from the west! a voice from the four winds! a voice against Jerusalem and the temple! a voice against the bridegrooms and the brides! and a voice against all the people!" Though the magistrates endeavored by stripes and tortures to restrain him, yet he still cried, with a mournful voice, "Wo, wo to Jerusalem!" And this he continued to do for several years together, going about the walls and crying with a loud voice: "Wo, wo to the city, and to the people, and to the temple!" and as he added, "Wo, wo to myself!" a stone from some sling or engine struck him dead on the spot!
It is worthy of remark that Josephus appeals to the testimony of others, who saw and heard these fearful things. Tacitus, a Roman historian, gives very nearly the same account with that of Josephus. Hist. lib. v.
8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be (red radius stripe) afflicted, and shall (Sagittaius) kill you (Auriga): and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.
"They shall deliver you up to councils" (Mark). To the great council, or Sanhedrin - for this is the word in the original. See the notes at Matthew 5:22. This was fulfilled when Peter and John were brought before the council, Acts 4:5-7. Mark further adds Mark 13:9 that they should be delivered to synagogues and to prisons to be beaten, and should be brought before rulers and kings for his name's sake. All this was remarkably fulfilled. Peter and John were imprisoned Acts 4:3; Paul and Silas were imprisoned Acts 16:24, and also beaten Acts 16:23; Paul was brought before Gallic Acts 18:12, before Felix Acts 24:24, and before Agrippa Acts 25:23.
And shall kill you - That is, shall kill some of you. Stephen was stoned Acts 7:59; James was killed by Herod Acts 12:2; and, in addition to all that the sacred writers have told us, the persecution under Nero took place before the destruction of Jerusalem, in which were put to death, with many others, Peter and Paul. Most of the apostles, it is believed, died by persecution.
When they were delivered up, Jesus told them not to premeditate what they should say, for he would give them a mouth and wisdom which all their adversaries would not be able to gainsay or resist, Luke 21:14-15. The fulfillment of this is recorded in the case of Stephen Acts 6:10, and of Paul, who made Felix "tremble," Acts 24:25.
Ye shall be hated of all nations - This was fulfilled then, and has been in all ages. It was judged to be a crime to be a Christian. Multitudes for this, and for nothing else, were put to death.
10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
To illustrate this point, one sentence out of Tacitus (Annal. l. xv). will be sufficient, who, speaking of the persecution under Nero, says, At first several were seized, who confessed, and then by Their Discovery a great multitude of others were convicted and executed.
11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.
Of them Josephus says: "The tyrannical zealots who ruled the city suborned "many false prophets" to declare that aid would be given to the people from heaven. This was done to prevent them from attempting to desert, and to inspire confidence in God." - "Jewish Wars," b. 6 chapter 5, section 2, 3.
12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
It is very remarkable that not a single Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem, though there were many there when Cestius Gallus invested the city; and, had he persevered in the siege, he would soon have rendered himself master of it; but, when he unexpectedly and unaccountably raised the siege, the Christians took that opportunity to escape. See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles lib. iii. c. 5,
14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be (lunar open mouth) preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.
Paul declares that it was preached to every creature under heaven Colossians 1:6, Colossians 1:23; that the faith of the Romans was spoken of throughout the whole world Romans 1:8; that he preached in Arabia Galatians 1:17, and at Jerusalem, and round about unto Illyricum Romans 15:19. We know also that He traveled through Asia Minor, Greece, and Crete; that he was in Italy, and probably in Spain and Gaul, Romans 15:24-28. At the same time, the other apostles were not idle; and there is full proof that within thirty years after this prophecy was spoken, churches were established in all these regions.
15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation (Aquila, Lyra, Serpens, Drago, Hercules) spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the (solar) holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)
The Gentiles were all held in abomination by the Jews, Acts 10:28. The abomination of desolation means the Roman army, and is so explained by Luke 21:20. The Roman army is further called the "abomination" on account of the images of the emperor, and the eagles, carried in front of the legions, and regarded by the Romans with divine honors.
Spoken of by Daniel the prophet - Daniel 9:26-27; Daniel 11:31; Daniel 12:11, see the notes at those passages.
Standing in the holy place - Mark says, standing where it ought not," meaning the same thing. All Jerusalem was esteemed "holy," Matthew 4:5. The meaning of this is, when you see the Roman armies standing in the holy city or encamped around the temple, or the Roman ensigns or standards in the temple. Josephus relates that when the city was taken, the Romans brought their idols into the temple, and placed them over the eastern gate, and sacrificed to them there, "Jewish Wars," b. 6 chapter 6, section 1.
The abomination that maketh desolate. By which term is intended the desolating Roman armies with their standards. To every legion was a golden eagle with expanded wings, grasping a thunderbolt. These eagles, with the standards of the cohorts, ten in each legion, were objects of worship among the Romans, and therefore were an abomination to the Jews. We learn from Josephus, that after the city was taken, the Romans brought their ensigns into the temple, and placed them over against the eastern gate, and there sacrificed to them. See the note on Daniel 9:27. Stand in the holy place — Or, as it is in Mark, standing where it ought not — That is, when ye shall see these armies encamped in the territory near Jerusalem: for, as the city was called the holy city, several furlongs of land round about it were accounted holy.
May refer (1) to the besieging army; cp. the parallel passage in Luke, “When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies.” Lightfoot, Hor. Hebr., translates Daniel 9:27 in this sense: “Until the wing (or army) of abominations shall make desolate.” (2) The Roman eagles; the E.V. margin, Daniel 9:27, reads: “Upon the battlements shall be the idols of the desolator.” (3) The excesses of the Zealots. See Josephus, B.J. iv. 6. 3, “They (the Zealots) caused the fulfilment of the prophecies against their own country; for there was a certain ancient saying that the city would be taken at that time … for sedition would arise, and their own hands would pollute the Temple of God.”
16 Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:
The mountains of Palestine abound in caves, a safe retreat for those who are pursued. In all ages these caves have been the favorite places of robbers, and they were also resorted to by those in danger, 1 Samuel 13:6; 1 Samuel 22:1; 2 Samuel 23:13; Joshua 10:16. In those mountains they would be safe.
Many Christians, warned by this prediction (according to Euseblus, H.E. iii. 5, “by a certain oracle”), took refuge at Pella in Peræa during the siege of Jerusalem.
17 Let him which is on the (red radius flat) housetop not come down to take any (lunar) thing out of his house:
either (1) pass from the roof to the entrance, and thence to the street, without entering any apartments, or (2) escape along the flat roofs from house to house.
18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his (lunar) clothes.
These directions were followed. It is said that the Christians, warned by these predictions, fled from Jerusalem to Pella, and other places beyond the Jordan; so that there is not evidence that a single "Christian" perished in Jerusalem - Eusebius, Hist. Eccl., lib. 3 chapter 6.
19 And woe unto them that are with child (Auriga), and to them that give suck in those days!
20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:
It was almost impracticable to travel in Judea on that day, as the gates of the cities were usually closed, Nehemiah 13:19-22.
Our Lord had ordered his followers to make their escape from Jerusalem when they should see it encompassed with armies; but how could this be done? God took care to provide amply for this. In the twelfth year of Nero, Cestius Gallus, the president of Syria, came against Jerusalem with a powerful army. He might, says Josephus, War, b. ii. c. 19, have assaulted and taken the city, and thereby put an end to the war; but without any just reason, and contrary to the expectation of all, he raised the siege and departed. Josephus remarks, that after Cestius Gallus had raised the siege, "many of the principal Jewish people, πολλοι των επιφανων Ιουδαιων, forsook the city, as men do a sinking ship." Vespasian was deputed in the room of Cestius Gallus, who, having subdued all the country, prepared to besiege Jerusalem, and invested it on every side. But the news of Nero's death, and soon after that of Galba, and the disturbances that followed, and the civil wars between Otho and Vitellius, held Vespasian and his son Titus in suspense. Thus the city was not actually besieged in form till after Vespasian was confirmed in the empire, and Titus was appointed to command the forces in Judea. It was in those incidental delays that the Christians, and indeed several others, provided for their own safety, by flight. In Luke 19:43, our Lord says of Jerusalem, Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side. Accordingly, Titus, having made several assaults without success, resolved to surround the city with a wall, which was, with incredible speed, completed in three days! The wall was thirty-nine furlongs in length, and was strengthened with thirteen forts at proper distances, so that all hope of safety was cut off; none could make his escape from the city, and no provisions could be brought into it. See Josephus, War, book v. c. 12.
21 For then shall be great tribulation (EMP), such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (both in Jerusalem in 70 A.D. and in the United States in 2018-2026).
Josephus, in describing it, uses almost the very words of our Saviour. "All the calamities, says he, which had befallen any nation from the beginning of the world" were but small in comparison with those of the Jews. - Jewish Wars, b. i. preface, section 4.
He has given the following account of one part of the massacre when the city was taken: "And now, rushing into the city, they slew whomsoever they found, without distinction, and burned the houses and all the people who had fled into them; and when they entered for the sake of plunder, they found whole families of dead persons, and houses full of carcasses destroyed by famine, then they came out with their hands empty. And though they thus pitied the dead, they had not the same emotion for the living, but killed all they met, whereby they filled the lanes with dead bodies. "The whole city ran with blood," insomuch that many things which were burning were extinguished by the blood." - "Jewish Wars," b. 6 chapter 8, section 5; chapter 9, section 2, 3. He adds that in the siege of Jerusalem not fewer than "eleven hundred thousand" perished (Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 9, section 3) - a number almost half as great as are in the whole city of London. In the adjacent provinces no fewer than "two hundred and fifty thousand" are reckoned to have been slain; making in all whose deaths were ascertained the almost incredible number of "one million three hundred and fifty thousand" who were put to death.
These were not, indeed, all slain with the sword. Many were crucified. "Many hundreds," says Josephus ("Jewish Wars," b. v. chapter 11, section 1), "were first whipped, then tormented with various kinds of tortures, and finally crucified; the Roman soldiers nailing them (out of the wrath and hatred they bore to the Jews), one after one way and another after another, to crosses, "by way of jest," until at length the multitude became so great that room was lacking for crosses, and crosses for the bodies." So terribly was their imprecation fulfilled - "his blood be on us and on our children," Matthew 27:25. If it be asked how it was possible for so many people to be slain in a single city, it is to be remembered that the siege of Jerusalem commenced during the time of the Passover, when all the males of the Jews were required to be there, and when it is estimated that more than "three million" were usually assembled. See Josephus, Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 9, section 3, 4.
A horrible instance of the distress of Jerusalem is related by Josephus. The famine during the siege became so great that they ate what the most sordid animals refused to touch. A woman of distinguished rank, having been plundered by the soldiers, in hunger, rage, and despair, killed and roasted her own babe, and had eaten one half of it before the deed was discovered. - Jewish Wars, b. 6 chapter 3, section 3, 4. This cruel and dreadful act was also in fulfillment of prophecy, Deuteronomy 28:53, Deuteronomy 28:56-57.
Another thing added by Luke 21:24, was, that "they should be led away captive into all nations." Josephus informs us that the captives taken during the whole war amounted to "ninety-seven thousand." The tall and handsome young men Titus reserved for triumph; of the rest, many were distributed through the Roman provinces to be destroyed by wild beasts in theaters; many were sent to the works in Egypt; many, especially those under seventeen years of age, were sold for slaves. - Jewish Wars, b. vi. chapter 9, section 2, 3.
No words can describe the unequalled horrors of this siege. It was the Passover season, and Jews from all parts were crowded within the walls. Three factions, at desperate feud with each other, were posted on the heights of Sion and on the Temple Mount. These only united to fling themselves at intervals upon the Roman entrenchments, and then resumed their hate. The Temple-courts swam with the blood of civil discord, which was literally mingled with the blood of the sacrifices. Jewish prisoners were crucified by hundreds in view of their friends, while within the city the wretched inhabitants were reduced by famine to the most loathsome of food and to deeds of unspeakable cruelty. Jerusalem was taken on the 10th August, a. d. 70. 1,100,000 Jews perished in the siege, 100,000 were sold into slavery. With the fall of Jerusalem Israel ceased to exist as a nation. It was truly the end of an æon.
22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those (red radius) days shall be shortened.
23 Then if any man shall say unto you, (lunar eye) Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.
24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall (lunar eye) shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.
Josephus represents the false Christs and prophets that appeared as "magicians and sorcerers." He says they led the people out into the deserts, and promised to work miracles to deliver them, Antiq. b. 20 chapter 8, section 6.
25 (Lunar eye) Behold, I have told you before.
26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, (lunar eye) Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: (lunar eye) behold, he is in the secret chambers; (red radius line crossing out eyeball) believe it not.
27 For as the (red radius line) lightning cometh out of the east (Sagittarius), and shineth even unto the west (Auriga and Orion); so shall also the coming of the (Sagittarius) Son of man be.
28 For wheresoever the (Auriga) carcase is (Jerusalem or USA), there will the eagles (Lyra, Aquila) be gathered together.
So keen is their vision as aptly to represent the Roman armies, though at an immense distance, spying, as it were, Jerusalem, a putrid carcass, and hastening in multitudes to destroy it.
“where the corrupt body of sin lies there will the eagles of vengeance be gathered.”
29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:
Any overturning of kingdoms or cities, or dethroning of kings and princes is represented by the darkening of the sun and moon, and by some terrible convulsion in the elements. Thus the destruction of Babylon is foretold in similar terms Isaiah 13:10, and of Tyre Isaiah 24:23. The slaughter in Bozrah and Idumea is predicted in the same language, Isaiah 34:4. See also Isaiah 50:3; Isaiah 60:19-20; Ezekiel 32:7; Joel 3:15. To the description in Matthew, Luke has added Luke 21:25-26, "And upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring; people's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth." All these are figures of great and terrible calamities. The roaring of the waves of the sea denotes great tumult and affliction among the people. "Perplexity" means doubt, anxiety; not knowing what to do to escape. "Men's hearts should fail them for fear," or by reason of fear. Their fears would be so great as to take away their courage and strength.
30 And then shall appear the sign of (Sagittarius) the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn (Day of Atonement), and they shall see the Son of man (Sagittarius) coming in the (Milky Way) clouds of heaven with power and great (solar) glory.
In "glory" as "lightning shining from east to west" on one hand, but as a "thief" on the other.
31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a (red radius tube with solar bell end or crescent shofar) trumpet (Shofar haGadol on Day of Atonement), and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
32 Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his (red radius) branch is yet tender, and putteth forth (green Milky Way) leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
33 So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
34 Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.
If a generation is "three score and ten" (Ps. 90:10) (70 years), and a fig tree (Matt. 24:32) is Israel (Hos. 9:10; Jer. 24:3-10; 29:16-17), and a (red radius) branch putting forth (green Milky Way) "leaves" (24:32) is May 1948, then 1948 + 70 = 2018 when "all these things" are "fulfilled" (Matt. 24:34).
Also a generation is about 30 or 40 years. The destruction of Jerusalem took place about forty years after this was spoken. See the notes at Matthew 16:28.
The war began, as Josephus says, Ant. b. xx. c. 11. s. 1, in the second year of the government of Gessius Florus, who succeeded Albinus, successor of Porcius Festus, mentioned Acts 24:27, in the month of May, in the twelfth year of Nero, and the seventeenth of Agrippa, mentioned Acts 25 and 26, that is, in May, a.d. 66.
The temple was burnt August 10, a.d. 70, the same day and month on which it had been burnt by the king of Babylon: Josephus, Ant. b. xx. c. 11. s. 8.
The city was taken September 8, in the second year of the reign of Vespasian, or the year of Christ 70. Ant. b. vi. c. 10.
That was the end of the siege of Jerusalem, which began, as Josephus several times observes, about the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, or our April. See War, b. v. c. 3. s. 1, c. 13. s. 7; b. vi. c. 9. s. 3.
Dr. Lardner farther remarks, There is also an ancient inscription to the honor of Titus, "who, by his father's directions and counsels, had subdued the Jewish nation and destroyed Jerusalem, which had never been destroyed by any generals, kings, or people, before." The inscription may be seen in Gruter, vol. i. p. 244. It is as follows: -
Imp. Tito. CaesarI. DIvI. VespasianI. FVespasiano. Aug. Pontifici. MaximoTrib, Pot. X. Imp. XVII. Cos. VIII. P. P.Principi. Suo. S. P. Q. R
Quod. Praeceptis. Patris. ConsiliIsque. etAuspiciIs. Gentem. Judaeorom. domuit. etUrbem. Hierosolymam. Omnibus. ante. seDucibus. Regibus. Gentibusque. aut. frustra.Petitam. aut. omnino. intentatam. delevit.
For this complete conquest of Jerusalem, Titus had a triumphal arch erected to his honor, which still exists. It stand on the Via Sacra, leading from the forum to the amphitheatre. On it are represented the spoils of the temple of God, such as the golden table of the show-bread, the golden candlestick with its seven branches, the ark of the covenant, the two golden trumpets, etc., etc.; for a particular account see the note on Exodus 25:31. On this arch, a correct model of which, taken on the spot, now stands before me, is the following inscription: -
SenatusPopulusque RomanusDIvo Tito. DIvI Vespasiani. FVespasiano Augusto.
"The Senate and People of Rome, to the Divine Titus, son of the Divine Vespasian; and to Vespasian the Emperor."
On this occasion, a medal was struck with the following inscription round a laureated head of the emperor: - IMP.erator J.ulius CAES.ar VESP.asianus AUG.ustus. P.ontifex M.aximus, TR.ibunitia, P.otestate P.ater P.atrice CO.nS.ul VIII. - On the obverse are represented a palm tree, the emblem of the land of Judaea; the emperor with a trophy standing on the left; Judea, under the figure of a distressed woman, sitting at the foot of the tree weeping, with her head bowed down, supported by her left hand, with the legend Judaea Capta. S.enatus C.onsultus. at the bottom. This is not only an extraordinary fulfillment of our Lord's prediction, but a literal accomplishment of a prophecy delivered about 800 years before, Isaiah 3:26, And she, desolate, shall sit upon the ground.
35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
38 For as in the days that were before the flood they (Auriga and Orion) were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe (Orion) entered into the (lunar) ark,
39 And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
40 Then shall two be in the field (Orion with sickle and Auriga); the one (Auriga -- Leah) shall be (red radius line) taken, and the other (Orion -- Rachel) left.
41 Two women (Auriga and Orion) shall be grinding at the (lunar grinding wheel) mill; the one (Auriga -- Leah) shall be taken, and the other (Orion -- Rachel) left.
“Two women sit at the mill facing each other; both having hold of the handle by which the upper is turned round on the nether mill-stone.” Land and Book, p. 526.
42 Watch (lunar eye) therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.
43 But know this, that if the goodman of the house (Auriga) had known in what watch the thief (Sagittarius with crescent sword to take bride) would come, he would have (lunar eye) watched, and would not have suffered his house to be (Orion) broken up.
44 Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.
45 Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household, to give them meat in due season?
46 Blessed is that servant (Auriga), whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.
47 Verily I say unto you, That he shall make him ruler over all his goods.
48 But and if that evil servant (Orion) shall say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming;
49 And shall begin to smite his (Auriga) fellowservants, and to (lunar) eat and drink with the drunken (Gemini and Auriga);
50 The lord of that servant shall come in a day when he (lunar eye) looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of,
51 And shall (red radius line) cut him (Auriga) asunder, and appoint him his portion with the (Gemini and Orion) hypocrites: there shall be weeping and (red radius line) gnashing of (lunar) teeth.
“The angel of God waiteth with the sword to cut thee in two,” (Susanna, 59.)